Thinking ahead can make doing your taxes easier

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By Tina Orem

For many, the chore of doing taxes starts in February, when forms and documents start trickling into the mailbox. Then there’s deciding whether to use tax software or hire a tax preparer, and of course the agony of sifting through paperwork and filling out forms. All told, according to the IRS, it takes between 5 and 15 hours on average to prepare an individual tax return.

There are many other things you’d probably rather do with that time, so here are a few ways to make life easier come spring.

Set up a folder just for tax stuff

When your W-2s, 1099s and other tax documents start rolling in, keep them together in one place so you have them when it’s time to do your taxes. Make sure receipts are in there too, to keep you from forgetting about months-old potentially deductible expenses.

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